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Port Authority, NYPD Taking Steps To Protect Officers From Ebola

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the NYPD are taking steps to protect officers from potential exposure to Ebola.

The NYPD on Wednesday issued rules on what officers should do if they come into contact with someone who exhibits Ebola symptoms.

The police department instructions include steps that say members should stay at least three feet away from the individual, should use their patrol kit that contains gloves, a gown and a facial covering and only touch the individual when absolutely necessary.

EXTRAS: Fact Sheet On Ebola Screenings | More From The CDC | Ebola Q & A With Dr. Jonathan LaPook

The Port Authority says it is distributing sealed "hi-risk kits" to 2,000 police officers that contain a face mask with eye shields, non-latex gloves, a disinfecting handwipe and a red "biohazard" bag for infectious materials.

"We have distributed personal protective gear to our first responders in the event it may be needed to deal with the Ebola situation, especially at the airports," Steve Coleman, acting director of media relations for the Port Authority, said in a statement. "As you probably know, there could be occasions when our officers are in contact with a person suspected of having the virus. Our actions in distributing this gear is above and beyond anything required by the CDC and is done for the protection of our employees."

The gear has been given to first responders at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, the Port Authority said.

Port Authority, NYPD Taking Steps To Protect Officers From Ebola

Bobby Egbert, a spokesman for the Port Authority Police Union, told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell that trainers from the police academy are going to the airports to hold a refresher training for police officers working there.

Egbert gives credit to the agency for identifying Ebola as a threat back in August.

Port Authority, NYPD Taking Steps To Protect Officers From Ebola

Last week, extra security screenings of passengers who may be sick from Ebola began at JFK. Additional screenings are set to begin at Newark Airport on Thursday.

Officials say they have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in New York City, but Mayor de Blasio says the city is prepared.

Port Authority, NYPD Taking Steps To Protect Officers From Ebola

"Right now, again, another good day. Not a single case of Ebola in New York City. But the preparations continue to deepen every day," he said.

He added that the city is preparing in every way they can and making sure medical personnel are ready.

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